“It really highlighted for us the flexibility of EcoSys. We needed a system that was easily configurable. If this was a custom-built system, it would have taken weeks or months, not hours.”

-Patty Sullivan

Burns & McDonnell

As COVID-19 began to affect the project world, organizations in the engineering and construction industries had to quickly adapt to the ever-changing challenges brought on by the pandemic. For many companies, including Burns & McDonnell, this meant bracing for an economic slowdown implementing a business continuity plan and adapting current project protocols and schedules.

As a leading full-service design and construction firm operating in many different industries, Burns & McDonnell swiftly mobilized their employee-owners to support the systems and critical infrastructure projects needed to keep the U.S. moving forward. Throughout the pandemic, the firm has supported nearly 10,000 projects that touch 16 critical infrastructure categories defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

To manage projects effectively, the leadership team at Burns & McDonnell needed to find a way to easily identify, prioritize and report on projects related to COVID-19. Additionally, they needed to implement a work-from-home strategy enabling their employee-owners to execute projects remotely, at the same standard of excellence their clients have come to expect.

After exploring a few alternatives, EcoSys™ Enterprise Project Performance software was selected as the source of identifying, prioritizing, managing, tracking, and reporting on COVID-19 related projects. EcoSys is already a technology pillar at Burns & McDonnell and one of the top enterprise applications its operations depend on.

The flexibility and configurability of EcoSys allowed Burns & McDonnell to quickly make changes to the system. They created a process that allows them to flag both new and inflight projects related to the COVID-19 response. Then, they were able to integrate the data from EcoSys into their ERP system. This allowed them to then build a data model around this attribute for reporting. All of this was designed, configured, and pushed to their production environments within four hours, meaning Burns & McDonnell was able to adapt to a changing business need with very little effort and with no disruption of operations.

Key Facts

Company: Burns & McDonnell

Company Profile

• A global leader in the design and construction
• 7,600 employees
• Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, USA
• More than 55 offices worldwide

Key Benefits

• Acting with agility to support critical infrastructure projects
• Quickly identifying and reporting on priority projects for better decision-making
• Ability to shift to a remote workforce without disruptions to project management and project controls functions

“If we had not shifted from our old system to EcoSys, we would not be able to manage our project financials today.”

-Patty Sullivan

Strategic Initiatives, Project Manager

“If we had not shifted from our old system to EcoSys, we would not be able to manage our project financials today.”

-Patty Sullivan

Strategic Initiatives, Project Manager

EcoSys was also able to help when rolling out new work-from-home policies. As a 100% web-based application, EcoSys can be accessed anytime, anywhere. It fit well into the cloud-first strategy Burns & McDonnell has been implementing over the past few years and was especially beneficial when moving to a remote workforce due to the pandemic. The suddenness of the shift left little time to work out the logistics of accessing data at home, and EcoSys was able to alleviate that burden from IT when it came to project-related data.

The configurability, flexibility, and ease of use led Burns & McDonnell to partner with Hexagon’s PPM division to make EcoSys the pillar technology for enterprise project controls. Burns & McDonnell has continued to expand the use of EcoSys, now used by more than 2,000 employees to manage more than 29,000 projects. EcoSys continues to help Burns & McDonnell execute high-performing, high-quality projects, even in the face of uncertainty.

“The day we had to have everyone work from home, every penny we’ve spent was justified … Every. Single. Penny.”

-Patty Sullivan

Strategic Initiatives, Project Manager

Challenges

  • Adapt project performance system to meet changing business needs related to COVID-19
  • Identify, prioritize and report on critical projects associated with COVID-19
  • Implement a work-from-home policy and enable a new remote workforce to execute projects with high levels of performance
  • Manage project financials remotely

Solution

  • Utilize EcoSys Enterprise Project Performance software to identify and flag projects related to COVID-19
  • Leverage configurability of EcoSys to easily tailor the system to meet changing needs

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